Was Your Loved One a Victim of Wrongful Death?
When a person or legal entity causes of the death of another person, due to their negligence or wrongdoing, the act is called “wrongful death” under the law. The family of the deceased may have a legal ability, called standing, to bring a wrongful death lawsuit and potentially receive monetary compensation for being deprived of the deceased’s company, companionship, and earning capacity.
Wrongful Death Cases
Many steps are involved to prepare the lawsuit and develop a strategy for trial, so the expertise of a Ronan attorney who handles wrongful death cases is essential. Obtaining proof requires investigation of the incident that caused the death to develop witnesses and evidence to prove the defendant was in whole or in part responsible for the death.
Who is entitled to wrongful death compensation?In every state, a victim’s spouse can file a wrongful death lawsuit, as are parents of any child victims. However, other laws vary, such as whether an adult child can file a lawsuit on behalf of a parent or whether other relatives like siblings count as next of kin.
How are wrongful death settlements paid out?The methods that settlements are paid out can be negotiated with the defense. These can include lump-sum payments or installment payments. The money can also be placed in trust if the beneficiaries are children.
How long does it take to settle wrongful death claims?This depends on the nature of each case. While some cases may have overwhelming evidence and a defense that is eager to settle, other cases require extensive negotiations and investigation of the evidence. A case with a lot of compensation on the line can take years to settle or reach a verdict. An attorney can help set proper expectations for the process.
How long do you have to sue for wrongful death?Each state has a statute of limitations, with the majority being two or three years to file a wrongful death lawsuit. However, when the clock starts ticking is also different in many state laws. You should talk with an attorney as quickly as possible, so you do not lose your right to pursue the compensation you deserve.
Top Questions to Ask When Hiring an Attorney
- How many years have you been practicing law? How long have you practiced law in the local area?
- How many cases similar to mine have you handled in the past?
- What is the likely outcome for my case?
In legal practice, experience matters. An experienced attorney will likely have handled issues similar to yours many, many times. Therefore, after listening to your situation, the attorney should have a reasonable idea of the time line for a case like yours and the likely resolution.
Top Questions to Ask a Lawyer
- What is the usual process to resolve my case? How long will it take to resolve this?
- What are likely outcomes of a case like mine? What should I expect?
An experienced lawyer should be able to communicate a basic “road map” on how to proceed. The lawyer should be able to walk you through the anticipated process, key considerations, and potential pitfalls to avoid. Once you’ve laid out the facts of your situation to the lawyer, he/she should be able to frame expectations and likely scenarios to help you understand your legal issue.
How to Find the Right Attorney
- Determine the area of law that relates to your issue. Attorneys specialize in specific practice areas around legal issues within the broad field of law.
- Seek out recommendations from friends, family, and colleagues. A successful attorney or practice will typically have many satisfied clients.
- Set up consultation appointments to get a better understanding of your case as well as gauge your comfort level with different attorneys. Find the attorney who is the right fit for your needs.
Common legal terms explained
Affidavit – A sworn written statement made under oath. An affidavit is meant to be a supporting document to the court assisting in the verification of certain facts. An affidavit may or may not require notarization.